6 Fun & Unusual Foods to Cook on the Grill
When it's time to get the grill going, we all usually end up grilling most of the same foods over and over. And while burgers, steaks, brats, dogs, ribs, corn, and potatoes are all great and well-loved, sometimes we just want something different.
Most people are a little adventurous in the kitchen, but not as much with the grill. Included here are some unusual, easy, fun, creative, and really adventurous ides to get your grill going. Give a few of these ideas a try, and let your own creativity run wild. I encourage you to make these ideas your own. Have a great grilling season!
1) Grilled Romaine & Salad Kabobs
Starting the meal with a salad is not unusual but rather than a cold salad in a bowl you can grill the elements or create salad kabobs on the grill.
To make a simple salad that has a great smoky flavor you can take your romaine lettuce and slice it lengthwise, brush lightly with oil and then grill lightly to get that char look and enhance the flavor and then pair that with grilled tomatoes, whole peppers and avocado halves to make an unexpected fresh salad.
Kabobs are always a fun way to grill foods and make your unusual by created salad kabobs. The key is to make sure all your ingredients are equal in size and if using cheese do not over grill or you won't have cheese anywhere except all over the grill!
Salad kabob Ideas:
- Caesar: hunk of romaine, hunk of bread, hunk of par-cooked chicken breast or fully raw shrimp, after grilling, top with with Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan.
- Caprese: Mozzarella, tomato, bread, garnished with chopped basil and olive oil.
- Nicoise: Hunks of fresh tuna steak, cured black olives, par-boiled potato, grape tomatoes, garnish with chopped hard boiled egg and capers, and a vinaigrette of red wine vinegar, minced shallot, Dijon mustard, bit of garlic, and olive oil.
These can even be meals themselves or just a really wonderful appetizer round!
2) Unexpected Seafood
Most people have cooked fish in packets or on cedar planks or grilled shrimp but these suggestions will create an adventure on the grill.
The first is easy grilled clams and oysters. These just need to be tossed on the grill for a couple of minutes until the shells pop open and then they are done. If you have any that do not open just throw those away, there are always a couple of stubborn ones! When you remove these from the grill be careful not to lose the juices inside. Place them in a bowl and top with some mashed garlic and butter or a mix of bacon and cayenne pepper. Then these can be placed on a plate and enjoyed.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous then this next idea is for you! Grill a whole octopus! These can be ordered from your seafood shop and should already come cleaned and ready to cook but check when you order to be sure. Tenderize the meat by beating the entire octopus with a wooden mallet for 15-20 minutes. After your workout you will be ready to marinate the octopus. Do not skip this step or you'll end up with chewy octopus. Place it in a bag with some oil, vinegar and some seasoning of your choice and marinate overnight. When you are ready to cook simply place it on the grill. Most octopus will be done in about 20-25 minutes.
For some extra tips and a recipe for Greek Style Octopus be sure to watch this video and surprise your friends and family at the next cookout.
3) Grilled Cheese Sandwiches & Brie Wheel
After the octopus these ideas are pretty tame but still tasty and unexpected. Most if us forget that we can grill cheese and the great smoke flavor enhances the cheese to a whole new flavor level.
Make easy and quick grilled cheese sandwiches. Lightly butter one side of a hearty bread and place butter side down on the grill then top with your favorite cheese, cheeses or add meats and vegetables as well. Top with the second slice of bread and give the sandwich a half turn when you flip each time to get those great grill marks.
A wonderful appetizer or finish to a meal along with bread or crackers and a nice glass of wine is a grilled Brie cheese wheel. This is really easy and the difference in flavor will amaze you. Just place the whole wheel on the grill and flip gently once to get the melt even and have nice grill marks. Place it gently on a serving platter and slice open and enjoy.
4) Grilled Pizza
This is so easy you will want to always cook your pizza on the grill. You can make these anyway that you enjoy and use pizza crust ( I like to grill mine some on each side before adding toppings so is doesn't get soggy), naan bread, premade crusts or anything else you enjoy as a crust. You can top your pizza with any combination of sauces and toppings and really make them unique to your taste.
If you really want to make it an easy cookout you can also grill ready made frozen pizza! Can't get much easier than that idea. The smoke of the grill adds a nice flavor to the pizza crust and really enhances the toppings as well.
5) Grilled Fruits
Summer fruits are always welcome at a cookout but try throwing them in the grill to really bring out their flavor! You can grill slices of watermelon and pineapple, peaches and nectarine halves as well as grapes and lemon and lime halves.
After you grill these fruits either as slices, halves or on a skewer squeeze the grilled lemon and lime over the top and be amazed at the flavor!
Another easy way to grill fruits is to make berry packets with foil and add a little sugar, seal and then grill for 5-10 minutes and use as a great topping on cake, shortbread or ice cream.
You can also use pineapple spears as a base for fish, just grill the fish on top of the pineapple for a new flavor profile.
6) Grilled Banana Split
You need a great dessert for the grill and a grilled banana split is a great unexpected treat.
This is really easy. Split a banana lengthwise but don't remove it from the peel. Place it on your grill open side down for 2 minutes. Flip it over and then stuff the pocket with your favorite toppings -- chocolate chips, cinnamon, marshmallows, brown sugar, nuts or just about anything else you like. Grill for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from grill and top with a scoop of ice cream and some sprinkles and a cherry and you will have an amazing finish to your cookout.
You are ready to mix things up for your next cookout and have a few ideas for easy meals and snacks that you can enjoy all summer. Fun is meant to be enjoyed so have fun with these ideas and adjust them to your tastes and make them your own creations. Happy grilling!